“Black Nativity” has a fresh look

Black Nativity was a very exhilarating show. I don’t know exactly how the past shows have been directed but what I do know is that this one was incredible.Most holiday productions bring you the same music, lines and scenery every year. Well, the Richard B. Harrison Players proved to everyone that the chances of that happening with “Black Nativity” are slim to none. Miller Lucky Jr., the director, put together almost a brand-new show with a little something for everyone. The Pit, comprised of Tenille Foust, Lorial Smith and Greg Drumwright, helped the show achieve its musical glory along with the cast and crew.The show opened with Tony Steele, musical director Jared Boyd, Osei Appiagyei and Greg Henders preparing music for the opening of the show. Even though Steele and Boyd have been into music for over 20 years, they still knew what kind of new flavor to bring to this production.. Also joining in was 16-year-old Henderson, a junior from Southwest High School. He and Appiagyei played with magnum force. The musical portion and the performances of the actors and actresses overcame the many problems with the sound. The scenery was well-crafted by Keon Speller.The prologue had a story being told to the church youth by “Sister Erika Boyd,” played by Shemida Gill. There was a dynamic opening with “Aye Mo Denambe.” People were dancing and jumping to celebrate the new arrival.Rondrell McCormick blessed the audience with “We Expect You,” while awaiting the birth of Jesus. “No Room,” sung by Zonya Johnson, Lelund Thompson and Diatra Langford, captured many laughs from the audience. They sang about how there was no room for Mary and Joseph to have their baby, referring to hotels such as “Embassy, Best Western, Fairfield” and then said there was no room in “Holt, Haley, Scott A, B, C, D, E, F, G …” which really had everyone rolling.During “Search,” Mary and Joseph, played by Eric McBroom and Latasha Godbolt, gave a ground-breaking performance. They depicted the painful struggle of finding a place for Jesus to be born.The company showed tremendous energy with dance movements and screams and hollers during the birth.”No Good Shepherd Boy” brought a different side to hip-hop. The performers did just about every old school hip-hop dance, along with their own version of a shepherd’s rap flow. David Watkins, who played the Shepherd Boy, showed why he will be a rising star during the yeas as a Richard B. Harrison Player.On “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” the whole audience clapped and sang to the beat. “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” performed by Johnson, Myneesha Miller and Godbolt, closed out Act 1 and warmed hearts by showing the audience the value of a mother’s love.The intermission was just enough time to calm down, begin to gather tissues and start drying your eyes.The effect of candles, the soothing voice of Jessica Edwards amidst the powerful sermon played by Thompson took “Silent Night” to a new level. Then, Godbolt broke out with “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and followed through with the help of vocalist Foust as the worshippers and congregation entered.”Now Behold the Lord” featured the Harris-Mintz Dancers, which brought back fond memories of praise and worship on Sunday mornings. Their performance was graceful and angelic. James Blocker and the rest of the congregation made it clear that right about now the audience should pull out their tissues.When Johnson started preaching and the choir started singing, I think everyone jumped into the spirit of Christianity and forgot that this was a production. Her performance was phenomenal. Johnson and the cast closed with “What God Has for Me,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Joy to the World.” Dancer Sunshyne Gay, an A&T junior, said, “by the second act, I felt worn with the slavery, civil rights and contemporary scenes. I don’t feel exhausted, though, I just look forward to the next show.””Mr. Lucky made you get into what you were doing,” said Watkins. “It was more internal than external. I felt great during the show and it was professionally done.”Johnson, a junior, said, “It was a blessing to be a part of the show.””Black Nativity” is a show everyone should attend. Either you will get the true meaning of Christmas or be reminded why believers love God so much.The final performance is 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Paul Robeson Theatre.

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SGA deals with student issues

The third full-body meeting of the A&T Student Government Association included discussion on topics ranging from an environmental program to post-Homecoming details.SGA President Nikkita Mitchell, praised A&T students for helping to get the education bonds passed. She also thanked the many students and faculty who helped with the massive voter registration drive on campus. A&T had the second-highest voter registration in the nation.”We should all be proud of our university. We helped make history,” said Mitchell.The SGA president and her staff have been working with officials at auxiliary services to make improvements for students. These include:* Having coat and hat racks installed in the annex;* Providing 20-ounce beverage cups for students;* Having pizza served once every three weeks;* Having breakfast available from 7:30-9 a.m. during the week in the Aggie Den;* Extending the hours for the Aggie Den;* And cracking down on food fights in the annex.The food fights have become a major concern, and officials are checking into having video cameras in the area and posting police officers to catch would-be perpetrators.Mitchell urged students to raise their voices and provide auxiliary services with feedback about any of the campus eateries.Another hot topic of discussion was the completion of the parking lot behind Holland Hall. The lot is still under construction, and work is to be completed by the end of the year.Mitchell has also been working with campus police to address issues such as the shortage of police officers on campus, tolerance of drug use on campus and improved traffic control during Homecoming and other major events. Mitchell and her staff are making plans for the coming semester, including a Black College Day tentatively scheduled for March 24.Nashett Garrett, SGA chief of staff, who detailed activities in her office, is the head of the “Aggies in the Capital” student lobbyist program. The group has been working on several issues such as police conduct, standard professor exams and other areas of interest to students. She is also working on a high school prep program that will have A&T students from all departments in area high schools early next year.She noted that a toy drive is being sponsored through Dec. 8.Nicole Watlington, Miss A&T 2000-2001, has been busy with several activities and adjusting to her role as queen. She thanked the students and faculty for making this year’s coronation so successful. Currently, Watlington is working on her T.A.C.T. program, adopt-a-grandparent, holiday activities and the Empty Stocking Fund in Guilford County. She is looking for volunteers to assist in these activities.Attorney General Kimberly Cole reported there had been 19 offenses such as armed robbery and assault on A&T’s campus between July 1 and Sept. 30. However, she noted that the majority of these incidents were committed by people who did not attend the university.Brian Johnson, vice president of internal affairs and head of the student senate, announced that the senate was working on two new pieces of legislation. One of them would raise the GPA requirement for Miss A&T from 2.5 to 3.0.Treasurer Temple Robinson briefed the students on the money spent and revenue generated during Homecoming. The SGA spent $50,790.31 for this year’s activities, staying within its projected budget and breaking even this year. However, a hip-hop music conference held in Philadelphia the same weekend affected this year’s Homecoming concert.”The Homecoming concert is our main money-maker … yet it posed a dilemma for many artists because in order for them to continue to have their music played in Philadelphia and receive airplay anywhere else, it was in their best interest to attend,” said Robinson.Vice President of External Affairs Shannon Cannady provided additional details and figures from Homecoming.Guest speaker Dr. Godfrey A. Uzochukwu, a professor and director of the Waste Management Institute, spoke briefly on his work. The WMU offers certificates to any undergraduate student who completed 18-20 hours in environmental and waste management courses.”We encourage all students, no matter what your major is, to participate in this program,” said Uzochukwu. “Having knowledge about environmental concerns and issues will only enhance the skills that you already have in your chosen field.”Currently, the Waste Management Institute is working on a five-year, $18 million project designed to find ways to replace water with carbon dioxide in industrial processes. The research will help reduce water use and environmental pollution. N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin are also involved in the project.For information on current and future SGA activities, please call the SGA office at 334-7820. For more information on the Waste Management Institute, call Uzochukwho in the Carver Annex at 334-7030.The next SGA meeting will be scheduled in January.

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20 Questions

1. How many times did you eat on Thanksgiving Day?

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Lady Aggies seek revenge against Central in home opener

The Lady Aggies basketball team will try to put their early season struggles behind them when they take on the Lady Eagles of North Carolina Central in their 2 p.m. home opener Saturday.Revenge has to be on the mind for the Lady Aggies, because the Lady Eagles smashed them 69-54 in front of the home crowd last year. In order to avenge a loss like that, the Lady Aggies would have to work together as a team and turn up the overall level of intensity. Coach Karen Hall is holding on to the hope that her team will not lay down and play dead. “We’re hoping that we can be competitive and win our home opener,” she said.One way to stay competive in this ballgame is to contain Central’s top scorers and All-CIAA Women’s team selections, Monique Fearrington and junior center Amba Kongolo. However, the Lady Aggies’ early defeats against Gardner-Webb and UNC-Chapel Hill may provide the needed emotional fuel for victory.The first defeat was a nail-biter against Gardner Webb, which the Lady Aggies lost only by two points. The second loss was an old-fashioned smackdown as the Lady Tarheels pummeled the Lady Aggies 101-33. As this edition went to press, the Lady Aggies were playing in the Stony Brook Tournament . The results are not availableDespite two devastating early losses, this team still has reason to hope for a turnaround. “I think that we will be okay and we are in the learning process,” said Hall. “There have been good performances by individual players, and all we need to do is pull together as a team.”

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Seven Aggies honored

The N.C. A&T Aggies football team finished up their 2000 football season with an 8-3 record and had seven players named to the All-MEAC team. The Aggies were led on the All-MEAC team by their brilliant running back Maurice Hicks. Hicks rushed for 1,487 yards and 15 touchdowns. Both are school records. Fellow Aggies joining Hicks on the first team were senior center Victor Marte’ and senior guard Anthony Nobles. Both were a huge part of the Aggies offensive success this season and Hicks’ breakout year. The Aggies selected to second team All-MEAC were senior guard Chris Kinloch, placekicker Darren Dawkins, senior linebacker B.J. Little and senior linebacker Ray Massey. Kinloch had a great year on the line for the Aggies. Dawkins was key as he connected on 13 of 22 field goals this season helping the Aggies. Linebackers B.J. Little and Ray Massey anchored the defense as they both recorded over 70 tackles on the season. Little also ranked third in the MEAC with eight sacks and Massey added six sacks. Six of the seven Aggies named to the All-MEAC team are seniors. The top accolades are:Coach of the Year: DSU, Ben BlacknallOffensive Player of the Year: DSU, QB Rahsaan MatthewsDefensive Player of the Year: Howard,

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Familiar faces are now a phone call away

Students living in A&T residence halls have made friends with men from two local restaurants over the pizza and egg rolls that became staples of their diets.For the past three years Karl Lovette from Domino’s and Andy Chen from Grand China made it their goal to provide friendly, quality food service by making unsolicited deliveries to the dorms. When they arrived, the residence hall staff would announce that residents could come to the lobby to buy their food. But this service ended earlier this fall, as a result of complaints from another restaurant and concerns that the food sales violated a contract the university has with its food service provider. Lovette, the unit manager of the Domino’s at 948 E. Bessemer Ave., was responsible for the Domino’s deliveries. He would sell one-topping pizzas at the dorms for $5.”I have been working for Domino’s for 17 years. I first started this practice in Detroit, when I would make runs to Wayne State and Detroit College,” said Lovette. “I moved to Greensboro in 1993, and I started doing the same thing here at A&T. Everybody wins: We sell the pizzas, and the students save money.” Students like Sharonda Eggleton often benefited from Domino’s deliveries. “I like Domino’s because it was cheap, and a change from the same old café food,” Eggleton said. The students were not the only ones who appreciated the pizzas. “Karl is really a nice guy,” said Scott B Hall director Thomas Hastye. “For instance, if he brought 10 pizzas to sell to the students, then he would always bring some extra free ones for the staff to eat.” Grand China is a family-owned business that has catered to A&T students since opening on 1457 E. Cone Blvd. three years ago. Grand China’s deliveries included meals ranging from sesame chicken and egg rolls, to shrimp fried rice and chicken wings.”We offer a lot of things on our student discount menus, and we realize that many people don’t have cars,” Chen said. “I get to know people when they first get here as a freshman, and we become and stay friends as the years go by.”Brian Holder, a sophomore from Barbados, knows first-hand how nice Chen can be. “Last year I was hungry, and the store was closed. Andy realized that I was new. I was not from around here, and I did not have a way of getting around town. “He drove me to McDonald’s so I wouldn’t be hungry anymore,” Holder said. “That was really nice of him; he went out of his way to do something that he didn’t have to do.” But the random deliveries that made Domino’s and Grand China so popular with students do not exist anymore.In a Sept. 14 memo, Todd Johnson, director of auxiliary services, explained that vendors are no longer able to bring food to A&T unannounced, because it was a violation to the university’s solicitation policy. “We received complaints from other vendors,” Johnson said, “because Domino’s was monopolizing the student consumer market.” He added, “The solicitation policy states that since we have a contract with Sodexho Marriott, that no other vendor can sell food on campus without being called upon by phone.” Sodexho Marriott has the contract for food services at the cafeteria and the student union.The action was prompted by Ali Bib, an A&T alumnus managing Golden Pizza on 2278 Golden Gate Drive who believed that Domino’s and Grand China were using unfair business practices. “I don’t want to hurt anybody, but everybody has to follow A&T policy. If they don’t, they have to be stopped,” Bib said. One of the major principles in the business world is the law of supply and demand. Domino’s and Grand China were the first in this area to meet the demand and target their service to A&T. “I hope we can start making random deliveries again. We were helping the students and ourselves at the same time,” Lovette said.

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